New homes plan for ‘The Castle’

Lennox Castle
Lennox Castle

A fire-damaged historic landmark building could finally be brought back to life with plans for a development of 36 new homes on the site.

A ‘proposal of application notice’ has been submitted for the A-listed Lennox Castle, in Lennoxtown.

Applicants Allied Irish Bank want to build between 34 and 36 residential apartments, with access roads, drainage and landscape work.

Plans to build homes on the site have been on the go as far back as 2005. Originally the application specified work should commence by May 2010, but this was extended to May 2012. P&P Properties, the owners listed at the time, applied for permission to extend the permission for a further two years – to May 2014.

The delay has increased fears over the future of the dilapidated building. It was built in 1837 and was transformed into a hospital in 1927, treating patients until its closure in 2002.

Since then it has fallen into a state of disrepair and was ravaged by fire in 2008, leading to the demolition of part of the building.

David Carlin, chairman of Campsie Community Council, has welcomed the plans for the new homes.

He said: “We would like to see the building brought back to its original state.

“It’s something of historical value and I think it was the same architect that designed the High Church in the village.

“It would be a sin to see such a lovely building go to waste. It will be good to see something done.”

Last year an online project revealing the untold stories behind Lennox Castle Hospital was launched.

The hospital was founded in 1936 as ‘Lennox Castle Certified Institution for Mental Defectives’.

The recent online project, funded by Heritage Scotland, was put together by arts organisation Project Ability and C-Change – a group set up when the hospital closed to help resettle patients into the community.

It tells the forgotten stories of former residents and staff at the hospital, more than a decade after the final patients left.